Monday, 27 January 2020
Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas - The editor and big chief of The Dubrovnik Times. Born in the UK he has been living and working in Dubrovnik since 1998, yes he is one of the rare “old hands.” A unique insight into both British and Croatian life and culture, Mark is often known as just “Englez” or Englishman. He is a traveller, a current affairs freak and a huge AFC Wimbledon fan.


The Dubrovnik Tourist Board won the Best Stay 2017 award in category ‘’Best luxury travel destination’’ at the Best Stay conference held in Split. There were three finalists: Opatija, Split and of course Dubrovnik, and our city was awarded as a destination that is the best in luxury tourism when it comes to offer and presentation.

Best Stay conference is focusing on luxury and quality in every aspect of the guest experience in tourism, bringing together around 250 experts. This is a chance to get acquainted with the latest trends as well as exchange experiences with leading people in tourism.  The award giving ceremony is a novelty in this year conference and include several categories such as "Best Luxury Hotel", "The Most Innovative Hotel Design", "Best Luxury Travel Destination" (where Dubrovnik was awarded), followed by "Best ICT Solutions for Hotels" and "Best making hotels websites ".

-This worthy acknowledgment to Dubrovnik is an affirmation of the efforts that all the members of Dubrovnik tourism invest in the presentation of Dubrovnik and the battles, but also of the love they put into their work. This is an indication that both guests and the profession recognize all what makes Dubrovnik and its luxury tourism stand out, providing additional motivation for the work, development and follow up of contemporary trends in the future – it is said from the Dubrovnik Tourist Board.

In organization of Atlas, the biggest destination management company in Croatia and Emirates, one of the world’s largest airlines, as well as with a support of the Croatian Tourist Board (HTZ) and Tourist Boards of Zagreb, Rovinj, the Istria County and Central Dalmatia, representatives of leading tour operators in China toured Croatia from the 15th to the 20th of October.
The main goal of the study tour was to present Croatia’s tourist offer and attract more guests from this Far East market with great potential.

During the five-day tour, Chinese representatives had an opportunity to visit tourist attractions in the area of Zagreb, Istria and Split. They were enchanted with natural beauty of Croatia, especially the colour of the Croatian sky and the quality of food. This encounter resulted in specific questions thus an agreement was already reached with MICE, which first group is coming to congress in Croatia in December this year.

The number of Chinese tourists in Croatia has recorded high growth rates. In the first eight months of this year, that number surpassed the entire last year. Chinese tourists, known as the world’s Number One travellers, on the average spend 750 Euro per travel, whilst the main motive for their arrival is the sightseeing of natural phenomena and cultural sights thus it is no surprise that on the average they sojourn two or three nights in a destination.

Emirates’ direct flights to Dubai certainly open up new opportunities for further growth. Thus, trips from Shanghai and Beijing are now more accessible to Chinese travellers, with only one stop in Dubai.

According to the latest data more than 143,000 tourists from China visited Croatia by the 20th of October this year. They realized 213,338 overnight stays or 57 percent more in arrivals and 49 percent more in overnights in comparison to the same period from last year. Among the most visited destinations in that period were Zagreb, Dubrovnik, Split and the National Park Plitvice Lakes.

At today's session of the society assembly in Zagreb the mandate of the Dubrovnik Airport Director, Roko Tolić, has been extended to the end of the tender procedure.

Dubrovnik airport is currently the only airport in Croatia where a new director still has not been elected for a four-year term. In Dubrovnik three candidates registered for the position, including Tolić, however in the meantime the two other candidates dropped out. One candidate did not have all the necessary qualifications, while the other decided to drop out of the application for the leading position at Dubrovnik Airport.

Tolić’s contract has been extended several times on a monthly basis, and the final decision on the appointment of a new director should be made by the Government of the Republic of Croatia.

In a time where the Dubrovnik Airport is going through a complicated investment stage, involving European Union funds, it is vital that a director is appointed on a four-year mandate as soon as possible. Why the government is dragging their heels is unsure, the airport has recorded its best year on record and welcomed 2 million passengers for the first time ever, and with the investment phase in full swing it would seem extremely important to have a director named.

The Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic will move her office from Zagreb to the Dubrovnik – Neretva County from Wednesday, October 25th to Sunday, October 29th. This the 10th time she has done this, but the first time in Dubrovnik, since she tends to visit different parts of Croatia every time.

Grabar-Kitarovic will have a busy schedule in Dubrovnik. The first day is reserved for meetings and visiting Zupa Dubrovacka, as well as Konavle and Prevlaka.

The second day in Dubrovnik-Neretva County will be marked with meetings connected with the building of the Peljesac Bridge. The President will visit Ston, Orebic and the island of Korcula.

Friday will be ‘’island hopping day’’, since Grabar-Kitarovic is planning to visit Lastovo, Mljet and Sipan and return to the Old City in the afternoon hours.

On Saturday, the president will visit Slano, Opuzen, Metkovic and Ploce and on Sunday, the last day of her stay in Dubrovnik-Neretva County, she will attend ceremonies marking the 25th anniversary of the liberation of Dubrovnik.

After the weekend cleaning action on the island of Lopud last weekend, the Dubrovnik Diving Club organized a clean up of the Dubrovnik river this weekend. In cooperation with the Valamar Riviera Group and the Dubrovnik Tourist Board the morning clean up of the sea bed in the Dubrovnik river was successful.

The divers scooped up car tyres, bicycle parts, chairs, in fact a wide array of waste material. Divers from the Dubrovnik Diving Club and members of the public cleaning company took part in the weekend action.

eco action dubrovnik river 2

clean seabed dubrovnik river

This is a classic example of how not to drive a bus full of passengers.

A reader sent this photo to us of a coach pulling a three point turn on the main coastal road above Dubrovnik.

Dangerous is an understatement as this bus driver not only held up traffic in both directions whilst he manoeuvred but he also broke all kinds of laws. Be careful on the roads of Dubrovnik you never know what you’ll meet.

The Dubrovnik Rugby Club, Invictus, got their second division campaign off to a winning start with a crushing 79 – 14 win over Lokomotiva from Zagreb. The game, in fact the first time that a rugby club from Dubrovnik had played in a full 15 a side competitive match, kicked off at 2.00 pm in the Gospino Polje stadium in Dubrovnik.

invistuc rugby club win over lokomotiva

 Try celebrations as Invictus start on the right foot 

Invictus dominated the game from the early stages and at half time Lokomotiva still had yet to score whilst the home side had racked up 46 points. The speed of Drmać on the wings proved too much for Lokomtiva and he stacked up five tries, whilst Ante Stojan, playing at scrum half, masterfully fed the ball around the team and managed to score two tries himself. In the second half, thanks to two quick yellow cards for Invictus, the guests slowly got back into the game and scored two tries.

invictus win lokomotiva

 The Black and Gold Invictus front row

But in the end the power and good organisation of the Dubrovnik rugby club was too much for the visitors. Being the first ever game of this level played in Dubrovnik it also caught the attention of the public and the home team was cheered on by numerous boisterous fans. Invictus now move onto to a match in Metkovic next weekend.

on the run

Invictus on the break in a stunning first half display 

invicutus rugby club team photo

Great start to the season 

lokomotiva from zagreb rugby

Lokomotiva played their part in an enjoyable match 

lokomotiva invictus


One of the favourite parts of Dubrovnik Good Food Festival is surely Dubrovnik table, that goes across entire length of Stradun. This special event was reserved for the last day of the festival and has been held this morning.
Numerous Dubrovnik hotels and restaurants, bakers, confectioners,  and caterers, as well as winemakers  from Konavle and Pelješac will present  their knowledge and skills.  

Locals and their guests got the chance to enjoy the numerous delicacies as well  as wine tasting. All the collected money from the coupons will go to charity.

The programme of Good Food Festival ends today in Hotel Libertas Rixos with gala dinner.

Don't miss our big photo gallery, but be aware - you might get really hungry!

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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